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Drive-By Muthings: March 13, 2013

THE STUCK ON STUPID AWARD

Forget American Idol. I’m starting a new reality show contest: Nevada Idiot.

Gonna compile a list of the stupidest public policy ideas and legislative proposals…and then let all of you vote for the winner. We’ll find an appropriate event, probably a First Friday Happy Hour, in which to bestow the “Stuck on Stupid Award” to the legislator with the dumbest idea of the session.

So far we have a bill to tax hamburgers by Democrat Assemblyman Harvey Mumford, and another to force kids to wear a helmet (but not a suit of armor…yet) while skateboarding in their driveway by Republican Sen. Joe “The Nanny” Hardy.

We also now have one to force restaurants at bayonet point to display the calorie count of every food item they serve by Democrat Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, and another by Republican Sen. Ben “Blue Dog” Kieckhefer to name an official state dog.

As you can see, trivial, idiotic, time-wasting bills are a bipartisan exercise.

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…

In a televised interview with Anjeanette Damon of the Las Vegas Sun, Republican State Sen. “Blue Dog” Ben Kieckhefer said he supports screwing mining with a new tax hike because it’s “an industry that can pay more.” “Blue Dog” Ben then complained that mining last year coughed up “only” $97 million in taxes.

Here that gaming? If you can pay more, you should pay more. Hear that retail industry? High-tech industry? Health care industry? Indeed, according to the Kieckhefer Doctrine, ANY industry “that can pay more” could well be singled out for a royal tax-hike screwing in the future.

Make you proud to be a Republican, doesn’t it?

GOP’S DIVIDED HOUSE IN CARSON CITY

By most accounts, Assembly Republicans are FAR more cohesive this session so far under the leadership of Minority Leader Pat Hickey than they were under last session’s boss, Pete “Tax My Meat” Goicoechea. And while moderates ruled the roost in 2011, conservatives appear to have a slight majority in the caucus this time around.

The moderates include Lynn “The Bug Man” Stewart, Randy Kirner, Tom Grady, Paul Anderson, Melissa Woodbury and Pete Livermore. The conservatives are Cresent Hardy, John Hambrick, Ira Hansen, Jim Wheeler, Michele Fiore, Wes Duncan, John Ellison and James Oscarson.

Hickey himself is more of a middle-of-the-road kinda guy, but unlike Tax My Meat Pete in 2011, isn’t openly hostile to or disdainful of the conservatives in his caucus. As such, there’s no Hatfield & McCoy attitude among caucus members.

Not saying there aren’t disagreements; just that things aren’t anywhere near as bad as they were last time out.

On the other hand, Senate MINORITY Leader “Moderate Mike” Roberson’s heavy-handed “it’s-all-about-me” attitude has created a permanent, irreparable wedge in his own caucus.

In addition to himself, the other moderates include Sens. Joe “The Nanny” Hardy, “Blue Dog” Ben Kieckhefer, Scott Hammond, Greg Brower and Pete “Tax My Meat” Goicoechea.

The conservatives are Sens. James Settelmeyer, Don Gustavson and Barbara Cegavske.

The enigma right now is Mark Hutchison.

Conservatives had high hopes for Hutch and desperately wanted to believe he wouldn’t be pushed around, bullied or bribed by Roberson. Yet he incomprehensibly ended up backing the Roberson/Miller “Screw Mining” proposal last week. I don’t want to give up on Hutchison yet, but he’s clearly under the control of the Dark Side right now.

Can he be saved…or is his destiny to become “Moderate Mark”?

DRIVE-BY MUTHINGS

* Instead of Republicans in the state senate trying to come up with a billion dollar tax hike ballot initiative to compete with the billion dollar tax hike initiative proposed by the teachers union, why don’t Republicans do the smart thing and push for an initiative to require the same 2/3 super-majority vote to pass a tax hike on the ballot that’s required to pass a tax hike in the Legislature?

* Sen. “Moderate Mike” Roberson strikes again! This time PLAN’S man has a plan to give public school teachers “as much as $100 a year to cover unreimbursed expenses they incur in buying material for their classrooms.” Really? Why not $200? Or $500? Do I hear $1,000? And does anyone find it a coincidence that Roberson’s wife is a teacher?

* Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey just introduced a bill originally put forward last session by former Assemblyman Ed Goedhart: A “cooling off” bill that will prohibit ex-legislators from lobbying their colleagues for a number of years after leaving office. It would stop elected officials from immediately cashing in on their public service. Damn fine idea.

* Striking cab drivers in Vegas took out a half-page ad in the Las Vegas Review-Journal “to all in our community” advising that they’re exercising their “federal rights” to strike. Fine. But they also complain bitterly about the company exercising ITS right to stay in business by hiring replacement cab drivers, referring to those workers as “scabs.”

Apparently only ungrateful workers have rights, not the hand that feeds them or replacement workers just trying to provide a living for themselves and their families.

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

* Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki – termed out as LG, already served as Treasurer, and blocked from guv office and Congress – is eying a run for Secretary of State…the slot everybody believes termed-out Republican state Sen. Barbara Cegavske has been angling for.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

“On MSNBC, Time Mag exec editor said we’re all “socialists from the day we’re born”. And like diapers, most of us grow out of it.” – Fred Thompson tweet